Rebels giant back after 13 calf injuries

·2-min read

Hulking Melbourne prop Pone Fa'amausili is looking to take out a year's worth of frustration on Moana Pasifika when the Rebels host the Super Rugby Pacific newcomers on Saturday night.

Named on the bench for the AAMI Park match, Fa'amausili says he's suffered 13 calf injuries which have kept him sidelined for the past year.

"It's been a long time coming - 12 months since I've played my last game and I've had this game in the back of my mind for the last couple of weeks," the 25-year-old said on Friday.

"I'm just really excited to get amongst the boys."

With the injuries frustratingly coming in both legs and different areas of the calf, Fa'amausili said the Rebels had taken him to the same calf muscle specialist who treated former Wallabies captain David Pocock, getting the flanker onto the paddock for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

"The way he saw the calf and all of that, it was just awesome to work with him and get his feedback on what he thinks what I should be working on," he said.

Asked whether he still possessed the speed that made him a Super Rugby bulldozer Fa'amausili said he wasn't sure.

But weighing in at plus 130kg, he still had the power.

"Usually whenever I come back from injury I'm pretty skinny but my jersey is actually pretty tight on me, he said.

"Strength and conditioning have got me lifting 24-7 so hopefully that hasn't slowed me down - hopefully the game opens up a bit as I come on and I can get my legs moving."

Moana Pasifika's last round match was postponed due to COVID numbers in the Western Force team - which was their fourth match delay of the season.

They have so far only played New Zealand teams, for one win, but Fa'amausili expected a physical, upbeat performance.

The visitors will be led by former Test prop Sekope Kepu, who returns from a collarbone injury while another ex-Wallaby, Christian Lealiifano, will be at five-eighth.

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